Area news briefs

Grand jury indicts man in carrier shooting case

WARREN – A Trumbull County grand jury indicted a man Thursday in the case of gunshots being fired at two newspaper carriers in late January.

Darren Lamont Lee, 27, of West Avenue N.W., was indicted on two counts of felonious assault, carrying a concealed weapon and having weapons under disability, along with two drug possession charges.

According to police, in the early morning of Jan. 30, Lee fired several shots at a 43-year-old Tribune Chronicle newspaper carrier and his 18-year-old daughter. No one was injured.

Lee was arrested in the days following the attack. He is due for arraignment on March 31. If convicted on the charges, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

Police seize drugs in raids on homes

WARREN – The Warren Police Crime unit executed search warrants at 7:30 a.m. Friday at homes at 335/337 Porter and 216 Porter St. as a result of continuing investigations that began last summer.

Although residents were in the houses at the time of the raid, no one was arrested, police said.

Police took an undetermined amount of narcotics from the properties. The drugs are being sent to Bureau of Criminal Investigation to be analyzed.

Mom shoots son, turns gun on self

STRUTHERS – Struthers police are investigating what they are calling a murder and attempted suicide.

According police reports, Robert Slaven ran to his neighbor’s house on Seventh Street in Struthers about 11:30 p.m. Thursday night and said that his wife, Leslie Slaven 44, and their son, Justin Slaven, 23, were dead in the basement.

The neighbor called 911 and when police arrived, they found Justin Slaven dead of a gunshot wound and Leslie Slaven had suffered a gunshot wound but survived, according to Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV 33 News.

Detective Ray Greenwood said Leslie Slaven was critically wounded and hasn’t regained consciousness, but police believe she shot her son.

Once the investigation is complete, they will be conferring with prosecutors on charges against Leslie Slaven, he told 33 News.

Trumbull couple charged with mailing drugs to jail

WARREN – A Trumbull County grand jury handed up indictments against an inmate and his girlfriend on claims she tried to sneak drugs into the Trumbull County Jail through the mail.

Direct presentment cases to the grand jury show that Priscilla M. ”Peaches” Miller, 33, of Difford Drive, Niles, faces a third-degree felony charge of illegal conveyance of drugs of abuse onto grounds of specified government facility.

Inmate Hargus D. Hall, 32, formerly of Bazetta, faces a third-degree felony charge of complicity to the same charge.

Sheriff’s Maj. Tom Stewart said Miller stuck the drug, which was a fourth of the size of a quarter, on a picture of a dog’s tongue on the front of the card. Deputies got a tip and intercepted the card before it got to Hall.

Area news briefs

Supreme Court denies return of law license

WARREN – A 63-year-old former lawyer and chiropractor who served three years in prison for his role in a three-doctor scheme to illegally dispense painkillers out of a local clinic was denied the return of his law license.

The Ohio Supreme Court Monday followed the recommendation of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline to deny the request by Charles Theisler, who was convicted on 96 out of the 106 counts on which he was indicted. Counts included drug trafficking, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, illegal processing of prescriptions and practicing medicine without a certificate.

Theisler completed his prison sentence in 2008 and has been off parole since 2011.

Girard sets deadline for cleanup at city cemetery

GIRARD – Spring cleanup at the Girard City Cemetery has been scheduled through March 30 for removing Christmas decorations from the graves.

According to Girard Director of Public Services Jerry Lambert, any decorations left after March 30 will be removed by city employees in preparation for Easter and Memorial Day.

Court appoints fill-in for Judge Belinky

YOUNGSTOWN – The Supreme Court of Ohio on Monday appointed retired Judge R.R. Denny Clunk, 84, as the temporary replacement for Mahoning County Probate Judge Mark Belinky.

Belinky resigned Friday in the wake of an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the FBI and the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office into unspecified dealings.

Clunk’s appointment runs through June 17. In the meantime, the Mahoning County Republican Party is screening applicants to fill the unexpired term for probate judge, which ends in February. The party plans to submit three candidates to Gov. John Kasich, who will make the appointment.

Clunk is from Alliance and has practiced law for 29 years. He has been working by assignment in probate courts in 22 counties around northeast Ohio since retiring in 2003, according to Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV 33 News.

YPD seizes guns, pot during traffic stop

YOUNGSTOWN – A Youngs-town man was arraigned Monday on drug charges after a weekend traffic stop turned into a seizure of 10 pounds of marijuana.

Police said they stopped Alex Stewart, 30, for failing to use his turn signal late Saturday night while he was driving on the South Side. During a search of Stewart’s vehicle, officers found 10 one-pound bags of marijuana packaged and ready for sale. Police said it is worth approximately $20,000.

Officials displayed the 10 bags on Monday, and called it one of the largest drug seizures they have had from a traffic stop in more than a decade.

Vice squad officers also showed the nearly one dozen pistols and revolvers they have taken off the streets since January.

“We are concentrating on efforts in these high crime areas,” Youngstown police Lt. Gerry Slattery told Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV 33 News.

Area news briefs

Townships to meet with engineer on projects

WARREN – Local townships will be meeting today with the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office to review road and other projects scheduled for each community.

Newton Township will meet at 9 a.m. at the engineer’s office, 650 N. River Road N.W., for an update on maintenance and construction projects.

Hartford and Braceville township trustees will meet also to review projects for each of their townships. Braceville is set for 5 p.m. and Hartford 6 p.m.

Unclaimed funds list planned for Tuesday

WARREN – Tuesday’s edition of the Tribune Chronicle will allow Trumbull County residents to join in the 2014 Unclaimed Funds Treasure Hunt, said Ohio Department of Commerce Director Andre T. Porter.

By checking the newspaper advertisement, readers can find out if they are entitled to unclaimed funds turned over to the Ohio Division of Unclaimed Funds in the past year, Porter said.

Unclaimed funds are money or the rights to money that have been dormant or forgotten. Some common examples include dormant checking and savings accounts, forgotten rent and utility deposits, uncashed checks, undelivered stock certificates, and uncashed insurance policies.

Tuesday’s list will include 3,255 unclaimed funds accounts worth $2.7 million. Anyone with questions about unclaimed funds can call the Division toll free at 877-644-6823.

Youngstown shooting victim still in hospital

YOUNGSTOWN – A Youngstown shooting victim remained in the hospital Sunday, and police continued to investigate the broad daylight assault.

Just after 5 p.m. Saturday, someone pulled up to a white SUV that was idling in the parking lot of a convenience store on South Avenue at Dewey Avenue and fired multiple rounds into the vehicle. The large caliber ammunition hit Jaquez Brown, 21, of Youngstown, in the head and arm, according to Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV 33 News.

The shooter may have been in a black Chevrolet Impala and driven south on South Avenue, police said. A 911 caller told a dispatcher they saw a vehicle speeding away after the shooting, but no witnesses have come forward.

Police found Brown was slumped over the steering wheel with the engine still running.

Tribune Chronicle

Area news briefs

Man charged with threatening Trib carrier

NILES – A Niles man pleaded not guilty Friday on charges of aggravated menacing and impersonating a peace officer after a Tribune Chronicle carrier said he was threatened Thursday with a weapon.

Jeffrey McFalls, 36, of 155 Helen Ave., is accused of approaching Tribune carrier Keith Lelesch, his stepdaughter and a friend early Thursday morning near McFalls’ home in Niles. McFalls yelled for the group to “stop” and pointed what police later said was a Taser, a report states.

Matthew Zaborsky, Tribune Chronicle district circulation manager, said the group thought it was a gun. After an argument, McFalls left. The group filed charges later in Niles Municipal Court.

McFalls was released on $1,250 bond with his next court appearance set for April 9.

Morning crash occurs in Howland

HOWLAND – A driver was taken to a local hospital after her car crashed into a tree on North Road about 8:40 a.m. Friday.

A vehicle turning left from Bruce Drive S.E. onto North Road near North Road Elementary School struck a vehicle headed South on North Road, forcing the second vehicle into the tree.

Assistant police Chief Nick Roberts said he did not believe the driver had life threatening injuries, and the second driver was uninjured. Nearby traffic, including buses of school children, was affected, and police rerouted traffic around the scene.

Sgt. Jennifer Carr said one of the drivers, Melinda Packman, 38, of Leavittsburg, was taken to the hospital. The other driver, Amber Price, 22, of Champion, was treated at the scene.

Two injured in accident along Interstate 80

AUSTINTOWN – At least two people were transported to a local hospital late Friday evening following a two-vehicle accident along Interstate 80.

An Ohio State Highway Patrol dispatcher said the accident occurred about 9:21 p.m. in the westbound lane near the exit for state Route 46.

The crash involved a semi trailer and a car, but the circumstances of the crash and identities and conditions of the injured were not yet available, and the investigation is ongoing.

Both occupants of the car were transported by ambulance to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Austintown.

Area news briefs

Five people hurt in three-car crash in Niles

NILES – A multi-vehicle traffic accident Wednesday night sent five people to area hospitals.

Three cars collided about 8:18 p.m. near 152 North Road, police said. The cause of the accident remains under investigation but was not initially thought to be weather-related, police said.

The injured people were taken by Lane Ambulance to St. Joseph Health Center and Trumbull Memorial Hospital, Warren.

Names of the victims were not released Wednesday night.

Three injured when car lodges under semi trailer

AUSTINTOWN – Three people were injured when the 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier they were riding in crashed under the trailer of a 2007 International commercial truck.

Bryan Brady, 20, of Lowellville, the driver of the Cavalier, and his passengers, Rex Morrison, 18, and Tyler Dunn, 23, also of Lowellville, had to be extricated from the vehicle before being transported to St. Elizabeth Health Center. Their conditions were unavailable Wednesday night.

Brady was driving south on state Route 46 about 2:20 p.m. when his vehicle struck the tractor-trailer driven by Gordon Rousseau, 34, of Galesburg, Mich., according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Rousseau was traveling north on state Route 46 from the Interstate 80 eastbound exit ramp. He was not injured.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Four new police cars in Sheriff’s Office

NILES – Trumbull County commissioners on Wednesday agreed to let Sheriff Tom Altiere spend $135,808 of the casino revenue Trumbull County has received on four new police cruisers.

The cost includes $848 for decals and delivery, $6,101 for GPS units, and $1,634 for radios. With this purchase, the number of vehicles bought for the office using Ohio casino money is one dozen – four were purchased in 2012 and four last year. The office is trying to replace at least four cruisers a year, Altiere said.

Part of the $3.5 million the county has received since casino revenue sharing began in 2012 has been used on new laundry appliances in the county jail and a new roof for a building at the county Engineer’s Office.

Champion trustees to meet on insurance, bids

CHAMPION – Township trustees have scheduled a special meeting for 9 a.m. Saturday at the township hall to discuss various items,

On the agenda, are awarding bids for snow plow packages for two trucks as part of the diesel elimination and reduction grant, employee medical insurance and uniforms.

Bids sought to improve safety at intersection

NILES – A project to improve the safety of the North River and Elm Roads intersection, which has the highest accident rate of all intersections under the county Engineer’s Office, should begin in late May or early June and last 90 days.

On Wednesday, county commissioners agreed to seek bids for the work, which include milling and paving with skid resistant pavement, putting in new signals, storms drains and curbs, and laying down new striping. Federal grants are paying for most of the project.

Warren Twp. officials conduct interviews

WARREN TOWNSHIP – Township trustees have begun interviewing applicants for the zoning inspector position. Trustee Chairwoman Kay Anderson said four candidates were interviewed this week, with plans for more interviews scheduled at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The position became open with the retirement last year of the zoning inspector. Fiscal Officer Debra D’Orio is handling zoning matters until the position is filled.

She said trustees will also be interviewing for a road department employee position with the retirement of Michael Arnold effective April 1, after 30 years of service.

Area news briefs

Austintown to hold meeting on bond issue

AUSTINTOWN – The community is invited to a Town Hall meeting at 7 p.m. today at the Fitch High School auditorium to discuss Austintown Local Schools’ upcoming bond issue. If passed, the 4.1-mill bond issue is expected to raise more than $45 million toward the construction a new high school.

The state has offered to foot the bill for 47 percent, or about $31 million, of the cost to build a new 285,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art educational facility. Other monies collected from the issue would be used to revamp the auditorium, gym, football stadium and some classrooms.

The 37-year bond would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $144 a year.

Liberty road closed for critical repairs

LIBERTY – A residential road in Liberty is closed for needed repairs.

Mansell Drive is closed between Ohio Trail and Logan Way as workers make FEMA-requested repairs to a culvert on the road, township Administrator Pat Ungaro said.

“The culvert (on Mansell Drive) was collapsing and we needed to do these repairs for flood control,” Ungaro said. “FEMA requested a half-dozen projects be worked on (in the township), and this was one of them.”

According to Ungaro, the repairs were estimated to cost $71,600, but actual costs came in at $39,900. Liberty will pay $12,393 of that cost, while the difference will be funded by the state.

Ungaro said that the street will remain closed for at least the next two to three days.

Area news briefs

Natural gas for vehicles bill heads for House

WARREN – A bill that promotes using compressed natural gas in vehicles was voted out of the Ohio House Finance and Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, putting it on track for all lawmakers to consider the proposal.

The bipartisan-backed legislation, sponsored by state Reps. Sean O’Brien, D-Bazetta, and Dave Hall, R-Millersburg, would provide tax incentives for entities that buy or convert vehicles to operate using compressed natural gas, establish a sales tax reduction for those who purchase electric vehicles and create a motor fuel tax on compressed natural gas. The tax would be phased in over five years and match the current tax on gas and diesel.

The incentives would be funded by existing oil and gas taxes on companies in Ohio and phased out over five years.

Car rolls over during crash on Interstate 80

WEATHERSFIELD – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a Tuesday morning crash on Interstate 80, just west of Salt Springs Road.

Troopers responded to the crash just before 8 a.m. after receiving reports that a vehicle traveling west had rolled over and ended up in the eastbound lane of I-80. Troopers said the driver, who was not identified, suffered minor injuries.

Girard reviews pipeline agreement with Halcon

GIRARD – Girard City Council will review an agreement with the city and Halcon to transmit natural gas through part of city property.

Halcon is operating wells in the Utica Shale in northern Trumbull County and western Pennsylvania.

According to Mayor James Melfi, the 14-mile line would transmit gas from Halcon’s well fields through property west of the lower lake to a fuel depot in Lordstown. Melfi said Tuesday afternoon that Halcon would pay the city $155,000 for the right-of-way agreement.

Council will review the agreement at the next meeting, which is scheduled for March 24. At that point, council can vote on the agreement, or move it to a third meeting.

Safety improvements set for North River, Elm

WARREN – Trumbull County commissioners today are expected to put into motion safety improvements to the North River and Elm roads intersection, which has the highest accident rate of all intersections under the county Engineer’s Office.

The intersection will be milled and paved with skid resistant pavement; new signals, curbs and storm drains will be installed; and new striping will be laid down, said Gary Shaffer, an engineer in the office.

Work on the $400,000 to $500,000 project will begin in late May or early June and last 90 days. Federal grants are paying for most of the project.

Weathersfield Schools given Auditor’s Award

WEATHERSFIELD – The Weathersfield Local School District has been given the Auditor of State Award for its clean audit, state Auditor Dave Yost announced Tuesday.

To receive the award, entities must, in part, file timely financial reports with the state auditor’s office in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or have an audit report that does not contain findings for recovery, material weaknesses or citations, significant deficiencies or questioned costs.

Area news briefs

Warren man reports robbery at gunpoint

WARREN – A city man reported being robbed at gunpoint early Saturday morning.

Robert L. Ochsenbine, 55, of Francis Ave. S.E., told police he was walking home from the Big Apple convenience store on Youngstown Road S.E. around 12:24 a.m. when he was tripped from behind and fell on his face, according to a Warren police report. Two males approached, and one of them pointed a gun toward his face and ordering him to give up his money, the report states.

Ochsenbine stated that he gave the gunman $700, which he removed from his wallet. He stated that the assailants took off on foot and that he walked to his girlfriend’s Homewood Avenue residence.

Police said they checked the area but did not find anyone. The report indicated Ochsenbine suffered apparent minor injury.

Girard man gets 4 years in Warren burglary

WARREN – A 44-year-old man was sentenced to four years behind bars Monday after pleading guilty to a charge of burglary.

Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Peter Kontos also ordered Darrell Sims of Dearborn Street, Girard, to pay $1,000 in restitution to homeowners in Warren who Sims and a co-defendant were charged with burglarizing last year. Charges are still pending against the co-defendant.

The two men were observed walking up the driveway of a home in Warren last year by two Warren police officers, who later caught the men with property from the home, according to police reports.

Woman gets probation in child endangering

WARREN – A 67-year-old Leavittsburg woman, whose husband was sentenced in December to life in prison for sexual attacks on two girls, was placed on two years probation Monday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of child endangering.

Patricia Grantz of Burnett Road also was ordered by Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Peter Kontos to have no contact with either of the victims who her husband, John, preyed upon as far back as 2006.

Grantz’ husband becomes eligible for parole in 10 years.

Southington Water Board continues drive

SOUTHINGTON – The Southington Water District Board is continuing its effort to get water to the township through a project that would involve bringing water lines along U.S. Route 422.

A petition is being circulated to show the interest of residents, who currently get their water from wells and cisterns. Between 70 and 80 percent of the nearly 200 residents in the proposed water district area would need to sign a petition before the project could move forward.

Board Chairman Skip Hanes said although Monday’s water board meeting was canceled due to a board member’s family emergency, residents can contact any of the three board members or attend the 6 p.m. March 24 meeting to sign the petition. The other board members are Lori Mills and Ron Davis.

Area news briefs

Handrail project gets more than $30,000

WARREN – An effort to get enough money for installing 133 safety handrails in the upper balcony of the W.D. Packard Music Hall in Warren is almost complete as more than $30,000 in donations have been received to date.

Pat McLean, project co-chair, said Thursday three major donations of $10,000 each have been received for the project from former Warren resident Roger Ailes, president of Fox News, the Trumbull 100 and the Women’s Auxiliary at Trumbull Memorial Hospital. There have also been other additional donations as well from individuals, organizations and groups.

McLean said about $6,000 is needed to complete the projects with any donations to be sent to Trumbull 100 Handrails, P.O. Box 1908, Warren, 44482. The handrail project is a 501(c)3 project.

Deer hunters invited to session on season

BROOKFIELD – State Rep. Sean O’Brien, Whitetails Unlimited and the Trumbull County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs will host a deer hunters open house Monday at the Yankee Lake Ballroom in Brookfield.

Some of the topics that will be discussed are the state’s deer herd and season changes. Also attending is Mike Tonkovich, Ohio Department of Natural Resources deer team leader.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m. The event is free. For more information, call 330-507-9489.

Youngstown man arrested after standoff

YOUNGSTOWN – A Youngstown man is in federal custody following a two-hour standoff Thursday afternoon on the city’s South Side.

Phillip Johnson was arrested by U.S. Marshals about 6:30 p.m. after a monthlong investigation into suspected drug activity at the house in the 100 block of East Marion Avenue, according to Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV 33 News.

When SWAT teams arrived Thursday afternoon, Johnson was not alone in the home, police said. Eventually, everyone came out except Johnson. Tear gas was fired into the home, and shortly after 6 p.m., two SWAT teams made it inside the house and found Johnson hiding in a furnace duct in the basement.

After searching the house, police were unable to find any drugs or weapons. Johnson will face several charges, including drug-related charges.

Bond set for firefighter in sex-with-minor case

YOUNGSTOWN – A Liberty firefighter, now on unpaid leave from his department, will soon have sex charges against him heard by a Mahoning County grand jury.

Jesse Culbertson, 30, was back in court Wednesday accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl from Jackson Township last fall, according to Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV 33 News. He is free on $100,000 bond.

According to court documents, the two met in September. The victim’s parents discovered their daughter was seeing an older man and the victim identified Culbertson.

Authorities say Culbertson confessed during questioning. He is charged with unlawful sex with a minor.

Culbertson joined the Liberty Fire Department 10 months ago.

Warren man gets prison in store abduction case

WARREN – A 58-year-old Warren man was sentenced to a year in prison Thursday after pleading guilty earlier to a charge of attempted abduction in connection with an incident at Walmart in Bazetta.

Paul Krause of Chestnut Street N.E. told Judge Ronald Rice he has had ”blackouts” in the past, and he has no memory of attempting to drag 47-year-old Constance Mocella of Howland into the men’s bathroom inside the store March 1, 2013. The judge reminded Krause, who said he suffers from multiple sclerosis, that the action was all captured on security video at the store.

Mocella, who is physically disabled, was reduced to tears trying to deliver a victim impact statement that accused Krause of ”corrupting and damaging her independence.”

Area news briefs

Wild animal escape plan officially put in place

WARREN – There is a plan in place in Trumbull County in case there is ever a dangerous wild animal escape or release.

County commissioners Wednesday approved the plan, which also includes a 10-person response team that includes law enforcement and fire and health officials. A state registry of exotic animals and their owners shows there are five known in Trumbull County, all a species of monkey and all but one in Newton Falls. The fifth is located in Braceville.

The plan is required by a law that also puts restrictions on exotic animal ownership in Ohio. The regulations are partly the result of a large release of dozens of creatures from a farm in Zanesville in 20011. Authorities killed most of the animals, which included black bears, Bengal tigers and African lions, fearing for the public’s safety.

Tax abatement back in line for Liberty hotel

WARREN – Trumbull County commissioners, delayed last month from approving a 49 percent, 10-year property tax exemption on a proposed hotel in Liberty because of a company name change, have gotten the ball rolling again toward approval of the tax break.

Commissioners on Wednesday accepted the application from Liberty Belmont Properties LLC, which wants to develop a Comfort Inn at the site of the old Ramada Inn on Belmont Avenue.

Perni & Perni Equities LLC submitted the original proposal. The name change to Liberty Belmont Properties LLC caused the delay, but should not put any real crimp into the construction schedule of the $6.5 million project.

Commissioners turn down veterans space

WARREN – Trumbull County commissioners in a split decision on Wednesday rejected a request to seek lease proposals for new office space for the Veterans Services Commission, now on the second floor of the Job and Family Services building.

”It (the office) was designed by a previous director to meet the needs of the entity and for us to go out and pay more money for another facility, it just doesn’t make sense at this point,” Commissioner Paul Heltzel said.

Heltzel and Commissioner Frank Fuda voted ”no.” Commissioner Dan Polivka voted ”yes.”

Commissioner director Herm Breuer said he will meet with the commission’s board today on what to do next. Breuer says where the office now is cramped, lacks adequate parking and can be difficult to get to for disable veterans.

Area news briefs

Coroner: Boy’s death due to heart condition

YOUNGSTOWN – The death of a 3-year-old boy at his South Side home over the weekend was due to a heart condition, the Mahoning County Coroner’s Office ruled Tuesday.

Initially thought to be related to the cold weather, Quinton Alli collapsed on the back porch of his home, 2807 South Ave, just before 9 a.m. Saturday. Police found the boy in just his underwear. He was dead on the scene.

The coroner said Alli’s heart was misshapen, according to reports.

Youngstown police were not expected to file charges.

Girard Police searching for missing man

GIRARD – The Girard Police Department is searching for a missing person. Michael D. Moore Jr., 35, was reported last seen on Jan. 21.

He is described as white male, 5-foot-10, 205 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. Moore reportedly works as a carpenter, and is also involved in home repair work.

Anyone with information on Moore’s whereabouts can contact police Capt. John Norman of the Girard Police Department at 330-545-0211, or the department’s tip line at 330-539-7230.

Deadline near to buy Community Star tickets

The deadline to purchase tickets for the 2014 Community Star Banquet is approaching.

Tickets will be on sale through March 13 at 5 p.m., and can be purchased by mail or they can be ordered in person at the Tribune Chronicle. To order by mail, address ticket request and payment to Tribune Chronicle, ATTN: Sue Shafer, 240 Franklin St. SE, Warren, OH 44483.

The Tribune Chronicle and Trumbull 100 are hosting the 2014 Community Star Banquet, which will be held on 5 p.m. March 18 at Packard Music Hall.

Area news briefs

Fire crews respond to laundry room fire

LIBERTY – Several fire departments were called to a fire Monday afternoon at the Metroplex complex on Belmont Avenue.

Reports indicate the fire broke out in the laundry room of the complex about 4 p.m.

Liberty firefighters told Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV 33 News that the fire was contained to a dryer, but there was smoke damage on other floors and preliminary damage is estimated at $5,000.

Those staying at the hotel were evacuated as a precaution, reports indicate. The state fire marshal’s office has been called in to investigate.

The Metroplex now operates as a Rodeway Inn.

Hubbard police hire 3 auxiliary officers

HUBBARD – The city of Hubbard announced the hiring of three auxiliary police officers during Monday evening’s City Council meeting.

According to 2nd Ward Councilman Timothy O’Hara, the city hired Marcus Coonce, Tiffany Paine and Christopher Gifford to fill three of the department’s five open auxiliary officer positions. All three will be assuming paid positions, but salary information was unavailable.

All three officers will be sworn in by Mayor John Darko this morning at 10 a.m. at the city hall.

According to Ward, the remaining two positions will be filled once the three new hires have completed training, as the department is only capable of training three officers at one time.

State patrol reports OVI arrests in 2013

SOUTHINGTON – For the second year in a row, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers issued more than 24,000 citations for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Last year, state troopers from the Warren Post in Southington arrested 266 impaired drivers in this area, according to state reports.

OVI-related crashes accounted for 33 percent of all fatal crashes in Ohio. This is down from an average of 43 percent during 2010-12, according to the patrol.

“We can’t fight the battle against impaired driving on our own. We need your commitment to make our roads safe,” Lt. Brian Holt, commander of the Warren post, said. “You can contribute to a safer Ohio by actively influencing friends and family to make safe, responsible decisions – like planning ahead to designate a driver and insisting that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up.”

Motorists also can call #677 to report impaired drivers, drug activity or stranded motorists.

There were 11,226 OVI-related crashes on Ohio roadways, killing 330 and injuring 6,843. Speed was a contributing factor in 60 percent of all OVI-related crashes.

Franklin, Hamilton and Cuyahoga Counties accounted for nearly a fourth of OVI-related crashes in 2013.

Area news briefs

Kitchen fire causes damage to home

CHAMPION – Champion firefighters responded to a small kitchen fire Sunday afternoon. According to Capt. Charles Joseph, crews were called to 201 State Road West at 12:48 a.m. The house suffered smoke damage, as well as damage to the cabinetry and other property in the kitchen.

Damage was estimated at $5,000 and no injuries were reported, Joseph said. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Champion firefighters were backed up by members of the Bazetta and Warren Township fire departments.

Mahoning juvenile jail receives accreditation

YOUNGSTOWN – The Mahoning County Juvenile Justice Detention Center received its third American Correctional Association accreditation.

ACA accreditation is awarded to juvenile detention facilities that complete a rigorous site inspection and evaluation, audit and personal review. The Mahoning County Juvenile Justice Center achieved a passing score of 99 percent and is one of five facilities in the state to earn the accreditation, according to the association.

“The people of our community should take great pride in not only the certification, but the work that the center’s professional staff does every day to protect the community and the youth who enter our facility,” Mahoning County Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dick said.

The ACA is charged with setting the national standards, training consultants and conduction accrediting for all correctional components of the criminal justice system.

Water problems to be addressed in Vienna

VIENNA – The Vienna Township Neighborhood Watch will sponsor an informational meeting on water problems in the community at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Mathews High School cafeteria,

The Trumbull County commissioners, Rex Fee of the County Engineer’s Office, and Tom Holloway of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District are scheduled to attend to address questions and concerns.

Mathews sponsors tour of high school building

VIENNA – Mathews Local Schools will host tours of the high school building off Warren Sharon Road from 3:15 to 7 p.m. Friday.

Superintendent Lew Lowery said building maps and tour guides will be available to answer visitors’ questions.

The school district is seeking passage of a bond issue on the May 6 general election ballot to raise the local share for construction of a new K-12 complex to be built at the site of Baker Elementary School in Vienna.

The bond issue campaign committee kicked off last weekend with dodge ball competition and scooter board races for local students held at the high school.